ELCA Worship News – April 2019

Friends in Christ,

‘Tis the spring of souls today: Christ has burst his prison,
and from three days’ sleep in death as a sun has risen.
All the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying
from the Light to whom we give laud and praise undying.

Alleluia! now we cry to our Lord immortal,
who triumphant burst the bars of the tomb’s dark portal;
Alleluia! with the Son God the Father praising;
Alleluia! yet again to the Spirit raising.

ELW 363
text: John of Damascus, c. 696-c. 754;
tr. John Mason Neale, 1818-1866, alt.

Once again the church around the world has participated in the liturgies of the Three Days, when we mark, honor and celebrate the saving power of Jesus passing over from death to life. In many places, celebratory “alleluias” have returned after being set aside during the Lenten season. For most of us in North America, the weather is turning warmer. New life is blooming all around us.

For those who plan and lead worship, this may be a time to take a breath after a busy few weeks. Now that we are in the 50 days of Easter celebration, this may be a time to take stock and evaluate. Don’t forget to look back at the liturgies of the last weeks and take note of things that work well and things that may need tweaking in the future. You will be helped to make those notes now while the memories are fresh rather than try to recall next winter what changes may need to be made. If you are looking to evaluate big-picture items, you may consider taking time before things calm down for the summer to utilize the free resource “Worship Care: A guide for reflection and connection.” Through guided reflection, this resource helps get at the question “How’s worship going?”

John E. Weit

Whether you take this season to reflect back, take stock or plan ahead, may your 50-day celebration be spirit filled as we remember the one who died, is risen and will come again.

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
Christ is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

In peace,
Deacon John E. Weit
Program Director for Music

From the ELCA Worship Blog:

We enjoy hearing from you! It is a gift for those of us here at Worship to hear about the breadth and depth of worship practices around this church. If your particular context has a story, practice or resource to share with our staff, please send it to worship@elca.org.

Although we cannot share everything we receive, we may contact you for further information.

Worship Frequently Asked QuestionsFrequently asked questions

The Worship staff regularly receives similar inquiries from across the church on the same worship-related topics.

During the season of Easter, many congregations light the Paschal Candle during all worship services. At other times of the year, it is lit for baptisms and funerals. Learn more:

How do we use a Paschal Candle?

Answers provided in the ELCA Worship FAQ are not the final word. They are useful guides that may be considered with pastoral sensitivity to their local context. Remember that these guides can be reproduced for a worship committee or congregation, provided that the web address is cited on the copies.

If you would like additional information or do not find the question that you are seeking an answer to, we invite you to contact the Worship staff at worship@elca.org.

devotions for lent

New congregational resources for Baptism preparation:

“Come to the Water” by Daniel Erlander
Daniel Erlander’s Baptism manuals, “Water Washed and Spirit Born” and “Let the Children Come”, spring to life as ″Come to the Water,” a family of books, curriculum and a video to support baptismal preparation and ongoing baptismal education for people of all ages. Available for pre-order now!

Come to the Water Leader Sourcebook: Holy Baptism Resources for the Whole Congregation
This rich sourcebook and curriculum guide will equip you to lead your whole congregation into a deep understanding of Holy Baptism based on Daniel Erlander’s classic baptism manuals, “Let the Children Come” and “Water Washed and Spirit Born”.

Come to the Water: An Interactive Baptism Manual for Kids
This new resource draws on Daniel Erlander’s two other baptism manuals Let the Children Come and Water Washed and Spirit Born plus additional pages that are full of interactive content that kids will love.

Come to the Water, Little One: My Holy Baptism Board Book
This colorful and inviting board book introduces young children to Holy Baptism with its welcoming message: “Come to the Water, Little One!”

Come to the Water Animated Video
Featuring a hand-drawn animation style that perfectly complements the illustrations of Daniel Erlander, this video highlights the messages found in Erlander’s baptism manuals.

Come to the Water Starter Pack – Pre-Order Special!
This pack contains one of every resource listed above, at a reduced price. Available only for pre-order.

To find more details on each of these resources or to pre-order the Starter Pack or any individual part,click here.

WebinarWebinar: “Basic Principles of Worship & Music in the Lutheran Tradition”
May 16, 2 p.m. Eastern Time

The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM) invites you to sign up for a webinar to hear Carl Schalk, noted Lutheran composer, author and lecturer, discuss how worship and music come together in the Lutheran tradition. Non-ALCM members are welcome. Click here to register.

Dinner Church“Dinner Church” workshop with Kendall Vanderslice
Oceanside Lutheran Church, Oceanside, N.Y.
June 5, 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.

Open to everyone (though space is limited to 50 registrants), this full-day workshop will include teaching about the history, theology and practice of dinner church as well as interactive workshops for planning dinner church in our own settings and thinking about how eating together and God’s word go hand in hand. The day will close with a dinner church service.

Registration is $50 ($40 with an early-bird discount, until May 1). Participants will receive a copy of Kendall’s book, “We Will Feast,” as well as all materials necessary for the workshop and two meals (lunch and dinner).

If you have any questions, email Oceanside Lutheran Church at

Pray, Praise, and Give Thanks“Leading the Church’s Song: Doing Common Things Uncommonly Well”
ALCM 2019 Biennial Conference, Portland, Ore.
June 24-27

The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians invites all worship leaders to the national biennial worship conference.

Consider joining more than 278 of your colleagues who have already registered. Registration is open. Advance single-day registration is also available.

Connecting with ELCA Worship

The ELCA Worship Blog and Facebook page are your places to connect with what’s going on in worship across our church.

The Facebook page shares prayers, events, updates, blog posts and “liturgy grams,” short infographics on the definitions and practices of things we see in worship every week.

The Worship Blog is regularly updated with more in-depth information and stories. Follow it for updates from the worship office and pictures, resources, reflections and happenings from pastors, musicians and worshipers across the church.

We’d love to include your voice too! If you have a story of how worship is meaningful and engaging in your context or want to share something your congregation has particularly loved, send it to worship@elca.org with the subject “For the blog.” Don’t forget to identify your congregation and include a related picture.